Jewel signs as anchor tenant of Madison-Oak Park proposal

Jupiter Realty waits village decision on preferred developer

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Jupiter Realty crossed a major milestone this week in its plan to develop the 600 and 700 blocks of Madison Street – Oak Park to Wesley avenues – securing a letter of intent from grocer Jewel-Osco for a 55,000-square-foot store on the north side of the street, according to Jupiter principal Jerry Ong.

The developer is working on the blockbuster development, which also includes property on the south side of the street, while it awaits a response from the Village of Oak Park on its request for proposals for the project.

Jewel-Osco has long operated a much smaller store further east on Madison Street. The future of that site is uncertain at this time.

Jupiter was chosen as the preferred developer in 2016 with a proposal that would have located a grocery store as the anchor tenant on the south side of Madison and reoriented the roadway to increase the size of the parcel of land between South Euclid and Wesley avenues.

That proposal was abandoned when Jupiter was unable to secure an anchor tenant. Ong said in an exclusive interview Friday afternoon that his firm had reached a tentative  deal with Mariano's in the so-called "road-bend" iteration of the development plan, but within 30 hours of sealing the deal it was announced that Mariano's parent company, Milwaukee-based Roundy's, was selling the chain to grocery chain Kroger, a move that ultimately killed the deal with Jupiter.

The village initially launched the request for proposals in a search for developers interested in the village-owned parking lot at the northeast corner of Oak Park Avenue and Madison Street. Jupiter has since put several properties under contract on the north and south side of Madison Street in anticipation of a wider development.

The deadline for development applications ended Friday, July 6. They are being reviewed by the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation, a contractor hired by the village to recruit business to the village. OPEDC's Viktor Schrader said four proposals were submitted.

Ong released a copy of the "Shops on Madison Street" proposal to Wednesday Journal, which includes 36,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, running along the north side of Madison Street from Oak Park to Wesley avenues.

The 55,000-square-foot Jewel would be located above the shops between Oak Park Avenue and Euclid, according to the proposal. "The combined effect of this new retail space will be a catalyst for the redevelopment of the entire Madison corridor," the proposal notes. "The project as designed will provide ample parking in a structured garage comprising 380 spaces."

The proposal calls for a cul-de-sac closing off Euclid Avenue on the north side of Madison – a sky bridge over a plaza at the intersection of Euclid and Madison would connect the two properties, Ong said. A parking garage will be located between Euclid and Wesley, and, as currently designed, three stories of 36 to 48 condominium units will go above that.

Those condos will range from 690 to 1,730 square feet – 23 will have three-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and three one-bedroom units, the plan notes. Ong said the size and number of the units could change some if Jupiter is chosen as the preferred developer.

"Our units are designated to offer a greatly needed residential alternative in the Village of Oak Park," the plan states. "Our units will provide quality housing for our neighbors who want to downsize, stay in Oak Park and move into a new home at an attractive price point.

"Large patios will provide unique outdoor space for a third of the units and large balconies will serve the balance of the units and offer residents great views."

He said he believes that "not everybody who's (in Oak Park), when they're done with their house, wants to go downtown or to Westchester."

Ong said he is currently negotiating with various restaurants to bookend the development to the east and west. It still is uncertain what would be located on the south side of the street in the property that once served as a Foley-Rice car dealership. Ong said a senior housing development mixing independent and assisted living units is a possibility. The long-defunct Foley-Rice showroom on the north side of Madison would be torn down to make room for the development, Ong said.

A preliminary timeline for the proposal would begin construction in spring of 2020 and be completed in the summer of 2021.

Jupiter projects the project would generate approximately $35.8 million in property taxes and over $21 million in sales taxes over 20 years, assuming annual growth of 2.8 percent.

Ong said the project would be a "game changer" for Madison Street that would benefit locals and make the commercial corridor a destination for the village. "Altogether, the development plan will create a town center ambiance from Oak Park Avenue to Wesley Avenue and serve as the springboard for future growth and development of the entire Madison Street Corridor," the proposal states.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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Bill Dwyer  

Posted: August 13th, 2018 11:32 AM

By what standard is the River Forest Jewel a "dump"? You're serious?

Eric Leibundguth  

Posted: August 13th, 2018 11:18 AM

The current Jewel on Madison is a dump and the current Jewel on Lake St isn't much better. Everyone will benefit from a new & improved Jewel as an alternative to Pete's on Lake St. (which unfortunately has declined since opening).

Renee Geweniger Zoltowski from Oak Park  

Posted: July 31st, 2018 3:48 PM

I personally would like to see a small hotel go up on that site. We have so many grocery stores, and apartments. A hotel is what we need.

Brian Souders  

Posted: July 19th, 2018 1:11 PM

Many of these comments regarding success or tax impact seem to overlook in this PROPOSAL is there are also apartments and additional retail included. And that the developer would complement this with developments across the street. I'm looking forward to seeing the other proposals.

Dan Ryan from Oak Park  

Posted: July 18th, 2018 9:37 PM

Finally. Super exciting news for The Village! Change is good. We can all agree Oak Park deserves better than the current retail enviroment between Oak Park Ave and Wesley Ave. A modern Jewel will do well... so much potential.

Johanna Brocker from River Forest IL  

Posted: July 18th, 2018 3:35 PM

Mariano's wanted to go into the Sears site...which would have been a plus forseveral communities. However, Oak Park blocked that developmet...saying that it would create too much traffic for its community.... Too bad. Nobody wants what's coming. Shop at the Jewel in River Forest...

Michael Nevins  

Posted: July 18th, 2018 2:33 PM

Don't be surprised if after the new Jewel is built on Madison that the Jewel on Roosevelt is closed - which is presently struggling as bargain shoppers go elsewhere (a couple of blocks west on Roosevelt to FP) and many more affluent shoppers go to Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, or the Jewel in River Forest. The Jewel on Roosevelt resembles more of a 7-11 every year. If true, then a net loss (win/loss/loss/loss) for OP will follow (lose the existing Jewel on Madison and the one on Roosevelt) and OP taxpayers will be out millions for the Madison bend, etc. Mr. Dwyer's earlier points are prescient.

Dave Slade from Oak Park  

Posted: July 17th, 2018 9:53 PM

"Jupiter projects the project would generate approximately $35.8 million in property taxes and over $21 million in sales taxes over 20 years, assuming annual growth of 2.8 percent." OK.

Cameron McLaughlin  

Posted: July 17th, 2018 5:02 PM

Hoping for a Mariano's and getting a Jewel is a tremendous disappointment

Chris Hanson  

Posted: July 17th, 2018 11:34 AM

They really need to look at saving the old dealership building on the north side of the street. Look at what Walgreens did on that SW corner. And what was done to the Sugar Beet building. Now OP is quick to allow that brick and terra cotta building to be torn down? There has to be a way to work the Jewels into that existing facade and go vertical above it with condos, etc.

John Abbott from Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2018 7:46 PM

I remember when the mayor was touting this project a couple years back -- the sales pitch then pivoted on how the projected curve would slow down traffic and make Madison safer for pedestrians. The idea was ludicrous on several levels at the time (there's lots of low-hanging fruit available if the village were truly serious about enhancing pedestrian safety and visibility along Madison). And now, as the Curve returns, it's telling that the mayor's one-time public rationale for this development has disappeared entirely from the conversation. The idea that Madison will become less congested with traffic through a project designed to bring new shoppers into the area is the traffic-control equivalent of supply-side economics. Oak Park, meet the new voodoo engineering

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: July 16th, 2018 10:50 AM

The question to be asked is, will this increase the number of people coming into OP to grocery shop. Otherwise it's a wash. Berwyn has the Roosevelt Road Jewel, and I can't imagine any River Foresters abandoning the Lake Street Jewel there for a longer trip into the congested OP Madison Street area, and park in a garage rather than an open air lot with four approaches and exit directions. So that leaves the hope of more west siders and more folks from Forest Park. Perhaps the village/Jewel care to address this question.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2018 10:22 AM

They talk about all the tax revenue with a ridiculous growth rate of 2.8% applied over 20 years. What they should look at is its a grocery store that grosses only $1 million in sales tax a year, which seems pretty puny considering the effort. But the current Jewel store will also go away, so what does the existing store gross in sales taxes now? Our net new sales tax is going to really be PUNY. We do all this investment and get next to nothing when you really look at it. Also, all the property tax will end up in some TIFF that doesn't help home owners get a break.

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: July 16th, 2018 9:19 AM

I am surprised that Jewel would do this. If a "princess" type Jewel goes in at this location, if could take away sales from the River Forest and Roosevelt Road stores. Many Oak Parkers still go to RF Jewel, even with two current stores in Oak Park. And how will this impact Pete's?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: July 15th, 2018 8:28 AM

One of four.

Brian Souders  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 9:36 PM

Remember, this is just one of 3 proposals submitted for consideration by the OPEDC and the board. We don't know anything about the other proposals yet. Lots of ways to go yet. Might not be worth even discussing what retailers might be included.

Janet Miceli from Oak Park  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 6:13 PM

How come there's no rendering of what it's going to look like? When they were going to do it on the South side it looked great- I can't really picture it above stores etc- let's see a drawing...

Tom Coffman  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 1:37 PM

Sounds like a smart move for Jewel. They are making the right choice in building up the north side of Madison, as opposed to the south. In regard to the Fenwick parking issue, I would say its important to resist turning additional prime real estate into tax free parking lots. Fenwick should be encouraged to move ahead with its parking garage idea. Hopefully, Jewel will allow its old building to transfer to another grocery chain, like Aldi.

Mark Ruehl  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 8:20 AM

Sounds good to me if and only if the architecture is right.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 8:18 AM

Really? Westsiders may choose to starve rather than trek three additional blocks west to the new Jewel? I think not.

Kline Maureen  

Posted: July 14th, 2018 12:16 AM

Interesting reference to the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation (OPEDC) as "a contractor hired by the village to recruit business" - that sounds like a rationalization to make the relationship even less transparency

Deborah Wess  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 10:36 PM

Fenwick has plans for an expanded campus extending from Washington to Madison, East to Scoville. Only a few condos on Madison still in their way. How many current exclusively Sugar Beet customers are going to suddenly shop exclusively at Jewel? Don't see that happening. It seems to me Sugar Beet customers shop there all they can, and then undoubtedly supplement, probably from a variety of stores, but Jewel probably last after Trader Joe's,Whole Foods, maybe Costco. What is questionable is whether the majority African American customers of the current Madison Jewel will travel those few blocks west. If they lose their primary (or only) grocery store, that will be a real shame.

David Montgomery from Oak Park   

Posted: July 13th, 2018 10:14 PM

I wonder what this will do to a really cool small business, the Sugar Beet coop. It would be a majorly stupid move by our village mothers and fathers to create the environment to have a large grocery chain drive them out of business.

Leonard Grossman  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 9:40 PM

Shuffling the chairs on the decks of the Titanic. Another fanciful proposal that ignores existing small retail and other businesses and adds another cul-de-sac.. Just what Oak Park needs.

Alice Wellington  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 6:50 PM

Sounds good to me.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 6:39 PM

Eventually, everything will become a parking lot for Fenwick.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 5:58 PM

So the Jewel at 438 Madison becomes vacated, possibly torn down, an empty lot for a while possibly years, and Jewel moves 4 blocks west. This is a trade off, Jewel for Jewel with some extras an empty lot 4 blocks away. Plus the new retail might take away from the existing retail,making more empty store fronts and empty lots.I wish this effort well, seems to me a swap not a gain. Good luck.

Jonathan Lattyak  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 5:38 PM

Fenwick is in the process of building a parking garage, unlikely they would be interested in that property.

Tom Gull  

Posted: July 13th, 2018 5:19 PM

So the existing Jewel at Madison and Scoville becomes a parking lot for Fenwick?

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